Posted on 10 September, 2020

Staying Productive While Working Remotely With Microsoft Teams

Staying Productive While Working Remotely With Microsoft Teams

Remote work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s face this is the new normal-our current workplace reality. However, working remote doesn’t mean you have to be isolated. Here are a few tips to make your remote working experience worthwhile.

Figure 1: Work from Home Solutions

Getting started

As you move to remote work, a few key habits will set you up for success.

Introduction Microsoft Teams

Set up your workspace

If you don’t have a home office, don’t worry. You can still work from home productively. In fact, Teams is designed as a virtual office you can take anywhere you go. While you may not have a printer, physical files, or a desk phone at home, you can pull up documents directly in Teams, securely store files where the right people can access them, and quickly jump into calls and meetings. That said, it’s important to have a dedicated home workspace where you can be productive and signal that you’re in do-not-disturb mode. A breakfast nook, a quiet corner of the bedroom, an underused game table in the rec room—any focus-friendly area can double as a workspace. And don’t worry if it gets a little messy throughout the day, you can always use background blur during video meetings so your teammates focus only on you.

Figure 2: Work from Home Tips with Microsoft Teams. Stay Safe and Stay Connected

Communicate, communicate, communicate

While many of us work from home at least part of the time, we still rely on rhythms and core hours that are built around our physical presence at the office. When working from home, your daily rhythm may change. This is especially true for those of us balancing work and childcare. Clearly communicate your working hours with your teammates and collaborators so that they know when to reach you. You can also set a status message in Teams to share this information proactively.

Figure 3: Stay Connected with Microsoft Teams

Also, make it a habit to offer frequent progress reports to your teammates. Fully remote companies tend to emphasize documentation, since it’s a key way to stay connected when you work apart. We recommend posting updates, insights, and helpful resources you’ve discovered in Teams channels, so your teammates can stay connected with what you’re up to even without the benefit of a chance hallway conversation. Later, they can search within the channel for ideas or content when they need them.

Maintain healthy boundaries

Without the usual workday signals—a walk to grab lunch, for instance, or a commute—unplugging can be a challenge. Remote workers sometimes find themselves working for long stretches without breaks for exercise, socializing, or a proper meal. This will quickly lead to stress and burnout. Remember: your health comes first. Make time for meals, drink plenty of water, and remind yourself to mentally “clock out” from remote work at the end of the day. These behaviors won’t just keep you healthy, they will also help you be more productive in the long run.

Figure 4: Stay Connected on the Go with Microsoft Teams: Stretch out and Exercise while working from home.

Running effective meetings

Embrace online meetings

In the absence of a physical conference room, bringing everyone together can feel like the biggest remote-work challenge of all. As you move meetings to Teams, make sure all meetings have a virtual “join” option to create an online conference room. Also, we suggest that all participants turn on video if they are comfortable doing so. The face-to-face interaction goes a long way to help everyone feel connected. Teams has a wide selection of certified cameras to choose from, as well as devices like headsets and speakerphones to make sure you and your coworkers can always communicate clearly.

Figure 5: Run Effective Online meetings with Microsoft Teams

Record your meetings

To compensate for lack of face time, some remote workers schedule extra meetings in order to stay connected with customers, partners, and coworkers. Double-bookings can be hard to avoid. If your organization allows it, record meetings in Teams so coworkers can catch up later. If you can’t attend yourself, remind the organizer to record in your absence. The automatically generated transcript is also super-useful when you’re trying to remember information covered in a meeting you attended.

Figure 6: Microsoft Teams Recording Feature

Have fun!

With all the changes that come with moving to remote work, it’s important to foster and maintain team morale. There are many things you can do within Teams to keep people feeling positive and engaged. Share news and stories in your team chat, or hold a photo contest.

Figure 7: Have Fun with Microsoft Teams!

Remote work checklist

  • Set up your workspace
  • Communicate often
  • Maintain healthy boundaries
  • Embrace online meetings
  • Be mindful and inclusive
  • Record your meetings
  • Make up for missing hallway talk
  • Bring the team together
  • Have fun!

Get Connected

Figure 8: Work from Anywhere with Microsoft Teams

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:inlineFigure 9: Microsoft Gold Partner in Kenya